Elon Musk has finally come to his senses.
Though Musk initially believed taking Tesla private would allow the company to have better long-term sustainability, allowing it to focus on making great electric vehicles instead of answering to Wall Street every quarter for missing production schedules, he’s now changed his mind.
Musk shared his three main reasons for keeping Tesla a publicly traded company:
• Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company. Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company. There is also no proven path for most retail investors to own shares if we were private. Although the majority of shareholders I spoke to said they would remain with Tesla if we went private, the sentiment, in a nutshell, was “please don’t do this.”
• I knew the process of going private would be challenging, but it’s clear that it would be even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated. This is a problem because we absolutely must stay focused on ramping Model 3 and becoming profitable. We will not achieve our mission of advancing sustainable energy unless we are also financially sustainable.
• That said, my belief that there is more than enough funding to take Tesla private was reinforced during this process.
Musk’s troubles first started when he tweeted out earlier this month that he was considering taking Tesla private when the stock price hit $420 (a possible weed joke, but who knows?!) and that funding was secured.
Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 7, 2018
Of course, that wasn’t true. While Musk had reportedly been in talks with Saudi Arabia to collect the funds needed to take the company private, it appears they were purely discussions, and he hadn’t actually locked any investments in.
In an interview with the New York Times, Musk opened up about being under immense stress and pressure this year, recalling how he’s slept at Tesla’s factories in order to help solve Model 3 bottlenecks that were preventing the company from reaching its weekly production goals.
In addition to helming Tesla, SpaceX, and The Boring Company, it appears Musk’s personal life hasn’t been smooth sailing either, which could have also contributed to his irresponsible tweeting.
The billionaire entrepreneur was dating musician Grimes for several months, but after his Twitter meltdown prompted her to withhold his phone, the two may have split up. Musk and Grimes unfollowed each other on Twitter and while neither has officially confirmed the breakup, it’s 2018 and we’re not stupid.
Musk’s decision to keep Tesla public will brush much of the blowback under the rug for a little bit and buy him some much-needed time away from the spotlight, but things won’t get easier. Next quarter is right around the corner and Wall Street will be back to eat him and Tesla up.
Honestly, it might be time for Musk to grow some thicker skin, especially if he’s in it for the long haul. And maybe tweet less, too.